When comparing Nautilus (AKA Gnome Files) vs Nemo, the Slant community recommends Nemo for most people. In the question“What are the best GUI Linux file managers?” Nemo is ranked 2nd while Nautilus (AKA Gnome Files) is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose Nemo is:
The most stylish among all FMs.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Allows you to access remote or local locations
On recent versions of GNOME, you can click the Files entry in the panel to access the a specific location (remote or local), connect to a certain server (FTP, SFTP, SAMBA, etc.), access your bookmarks, open a new window, as well as to change its default functionality.
Pro Easy to use and familiar user interface for Ubuntu users
The user interface of Files is very familiar to Ubuntu users, most probably because Canonical still uses Nautilus (an old version of it) as the default file manager for its world’s most popular free operating system, Ubuntu Linux.
It split into two parts, a sidebar and the main file viewer. While you already know what the latter can do for you, the sidebar offers quick access to Places, Devices and Network locations, as well as any other bookmarks that you can add whenever you want.
Pro Widely supported
The program is distributed as a single source archive, which can be configured, compiled and installed on almost any Linux flavor. There are no binary files for a specific Linux distribution, but you can install it directly from the default software channels of your operating system.
Pro Convenient file moving progress
Nautilus shows the progress of file move operations in the top right. This doesn't get in your way. You can keep using the window while the operation is progressing.
Pro Google drive integration
Pro Fully supports DPI
The most stylish among all FMs.
Pro Easily open as root
Option to open folder as root from within the right click menu.
Pro Easily open file location in terminal
Option to open a folder in terminal, which can help executing commands such as bash.
Pro Has dual pane functionality
This functionality was removed in Nautilus and Dolphin at least in Ubuntu-Gnome, but Nemo kept this option, making the obvious functionality of cut, copy and paste much easier.
Nemo can be extended to have additional features through third party plugins.
Pro Supports bookmarking
You can bookmark folders that you open often, this way you can easily access them from anywhere while using Nemo.
Pro Double pane and search by name capabilities
Pro Good networking options
Supports ftp, ssh and samba connections.
Pro Queues file operations
Con Mostly unconfigurable
There are not many ways to configure Nautilus to fit your needs. Besides what can be seen in the settings button you can't configure it further.
Con No Tree View option any more
This is a crucial feature for my daily work with a file manager and without a Tree View option a file manager seems pointless to me.
The reason for dropping this feature is weird. From https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/nautilus/commit/ef467c8775392d0f0feb0e38f7a80f2d41719d84 :
"It is the list view after all. Tree models don't work well on
touch and it isn't consistent with the file chooser."
Con Doesn't support "open as root"
Seems to be one of few file managers that can take several seconds to open.
Con Gradually losing its features
Unlike most software, where new features are added over time, Nautilus (along with other Gnome applications) tends to lose features, and for unclear reasons.
Con Comes with a ton of dependencies
Con Changing the background color or font type for customization is not practical
You have to do it with finding and editing the relevant CSS files. No buttons, menus or sliders for such customization.
Con Incomplete mimetypes
Like all nautilus forks it allows you to run svg-files due some incomplete mimetype coverage.
Con Depends on GNOME
Depends on gnome toolkits an libraries.